Bree Davies's Blog

Posted on October 17, 2019 by Bree Davies

Affordable housing for artists.

This topic is a hard one for me. I’m too invested. I know too much. I have had too many people close to me lose their housing and simultaneously, lose the place where they create art. For one of my friends, when he lost his home and his space to create art, he not long after, lost his life. Colin Ward, a fixture of Denver’s Do-It-Yourself arts community, died by suicide on February 1st, 2018, fourteen months after he was evicted from his home, the internationally-recognized art space, Rhinoceropolis. After the surprise eviction, Colin’s life was never the same; many of us close to him saw a direct connection between his displacement and his death.

Posted on October 15, 2019 by Bree Davies

Last year, Denver celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Gang of 19’s radical act of claiming space, demanding basic human rights, and calling for the right to ride. In 1978, 19 disabled community-activists put their bodies on the line and in the streets, stopping city bus service at Colfax and Broadway with their bodies for two days until RTD (Denver’s Regional Transportation District) committed to making public transit accessible. The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) wouldn’t be signed into law until 1990.

Posted on October 15, 2019 by Bree Davies

Las Imaginistas is the kind of collective I dream of — rooted in community, non-hierarchical, daring in the challenges it is willing to take on for the greater good of community. At Sunday’s preconference panel, ArtPlace America’s Arts and Immigration Field Scan, Christina Patiño Sukhgian Houle, co-founder of Las Imaginistas, brought us into the future-world she helped the border community of Brownsville, Texas, dream into reality. She outlined the two-year, ArtPlace-funded project in Brownsville in three phases: Permission to Dream, Permission to Know and Permission to Act.

Posted on October 14, 2019 by Bree Davies

In the underground or Do-It-Yourself/DIY realm of the arts community I came up in, the idea of a “safe space” has always been the ultimate desire, though hardly ever the resulting outcome. In the dozens of DIY art spaces I’ve organized in and performed and witnessed art in, the desire for a place that is all ages/all humans welcome, is physically and economically accessible, and is a space free from harassment and intimidation (a whole concept I will refer to from here on as a “total autonomous zone”) was the end goal. The creation of a total autonomous zone was, ideally, the creation of “safe space.” But in Denver in 2019, like many cities our size, we’re experiencing change from many angles, from our built environments being completely torn down and discarded, to our own personal, semi-private surroundings/housing situations/gathering places/art spaces evaporating right out from under our feet; the whims of the real estate market and the people with the money and ownership of the land become the ultimate determinants of who gets to hold onto any semblance of a “safe space,” whether that is an affordable art space or a home.